5 Critical Supplements For Women

Must-Haves to Stay Healthy

1. Folic Acid

Folic acid is a necessary supplement when it comes to prenatal care. Folic acid prevents birth defects of the central nervous system that can develop in early fetal development during basic cell formation, even before you realize you are pregnant! Supplementing with folic acid is essential to reduce and prevent premature births and neural tube defects. Studies show that women who take folic acid supplements before conception and during the first trimester may reduce their risk of having children with neural tube defects by 72 to 100 percent. Take 400 mcg per day of folic acid, and 600 mcg if you are pregnant. You can also get folic acid from the foods you eat including eggs, legumes, dark leafy greens or fortified grain foods.

5 Critical Supplements For Women

2. Iron

Women have a greater need for iron, especially if they exercise regularly, have heavier cycles or if they are pregnant, since they can experience greater loss through blood, sweat or due to an increase in red blood cell production. Lack of iron in your diet can result in loss of endurance, loss of energy, reduced recovery, muscle weakness and even anemia. Iron plays a critical role in red blood cell development, and helps carry and deliver oxygen throughout the body. Iron is also involved in production of ATP or muscle energy, temperature regulation of the body and is essential to cell growth. The daily dose for iron is 18 milligrams. You can get your iron from supplements, or food such as red meat, whole grains, lentils, beans and dark leafy greens. Enhance your absorption of iron by stacking your green foods with vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus fruit.

3. DIM

DIM or diindolylmethane is a powerful antioxidant that is naturally found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage. DIM can help balance and maintain hormone levels— particularly estrogen by reducing conversion of high-estrogenic metabolites, which are toxic. Why is this a good thing? Well, high-estrogenic metabolites can cause major problems in the body, including reducing fat burning, lowering your ability to build muscle and worse, increase your risk of breast and reproductive cancers. DIM’s main function is to reduce production of toxic pathways of estrogen metabolism. In today’s world, we are unknowingly getting more exposure to estrogen-like compounds from chemicals and pesticides to plastics and even daily toiletries we use on our skin.

Although you can get DIM from your green vegetables, including kale and broccoli, you won’t get as much as taking it from a concentrated supplement. Use 100 milligrams per day to help balance estrogen levels in the body.

4. Magnesium

It’s no secret women tend to hold on to their stress more than men, and magnesium is a key supplement that can help deal with the onset of stress symptoms. Magnesium has been shown to help calm nerves, reduce anxiety, fatigue, allow for better sleep and can even help reduce belly fat! Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. If you are deficient in magnesium, your heart rate can elevate, and your nerve impulses can become agitated further, increasing stress and decreasing sleep. Lower magnesium levels have also been attributed to higher weights, increased cortisol levels and decreased insulin sensitivity. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to reduce nervous system activity, resulting in greater relaxation, improved sleep quality, reduced inflammation, improved carbohydrate metabolism and reduced cortisol levels. The required daily need is 320 milligrams daily. Good natural sources of magnesium include whole grains and dark leafy greens.

5. Selenium

If you want to prevent aging, then be sure to include selenium in your supplement pack! Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can help fight off the dangerous effects of free radicals. With age can come deficiencies in our ability to fight off the effects of free radicals from the environment. Free radicals can come from exposure to UV light from the sun to exercising heavily! Selenium is also involved in the production of critical thyroid hormones and can aid metabolism. Research has also shown that individuals who have a higher level of selenium intake exhibit more strength. The recommended daily intake for selenium is 70 micrograms per day, while food sources for selenium are tuna, eggs, brown rice and chicken breast.

Lauren Jacobsen

Lauren is the creator of Sexy, Strong and Fit Online Coaching Services specializing in transforming women to fitness model condition. Lauren has over 15 years of experience as a trainer, supplement consultant and nutrition expert. She is also the TV show host of "Body Fuel," a competitive athlete and regular contributor to various fitness publications.

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